Award winners honored at CUNA Operations & Member Experience Council and Technology Council Conference

WASHINGTON, DC (September 19, 2019) — At this year’s CUNA Operations & Member Experience Council and Technology Council Conference in Chicago, awards were presented to credit union professionals for their outstanding accomplishments in their respective fields.

The Excellence in Technology Awards recognize credit union technology professionals who have shown outstanding commitment and innovation in their field. This year’s winners included:

  • Best of Show: WSECU in Olympia, WA, for their “Digital Lending Transformation” entry (assets > $500 Million)
  • Lone Star Credit Union in Dallas, TX, for their “Dream Big and Go For It! Technology is a Game Changer no matter your Size” entry (assets < $150 Million)
  • Merck Sharp & Dohme Federal Credit Union in Chalfont, PA in collaboration with Fiserv, for their “Going Big on Biometrics” entry (assets > $500 Million)
  • OCCU in Eugene, OR, for their “OCCU Member 360” entry (assets > $500 Million)
  • WSECU in Olympia, WA, for their “Digitizing Member Engagement” entry (assets > $500 Million)

The Excellence in Operations & Member Experience Awards are likewise awarded to professionals who have facilitated unique, innovative or otherwise outstanding approaches to member service at their credit unions. This year’s winners included:

  • Best of Show: Verve, a Credit Union in Oshkosh, WI, for their “Anatomy of a Servant Leader” entry (assets > $500 Million) in the Sales and Service Management category
  • BCU in Vernon Hills, IL, for the Contact Center / E-Support Operations category for their “BCU Stands Up Puerto Rico Call Center” entry (assets > $500 Million)
  • One Detroit Credit Union in Detroit, MI, won in the Miscellaneous category for their “Root Awards” entry (assets < $150 Million)
  • GECU in El Paso, TX, won in the Miscellaneous category for their “Enriching Member Waiting Queue” entry (assets > $500 Million)
  • Alliant Credit Union in Chicago, IL, won in the Sales and Service Management category for their “BE………..” entry (assets > $500 Million)

The Professional of the Year Award for both the CUNA Operations & Member Experience Council and the CUNA Technology Council recognizes the individuals who exemplify excellence in all aspects of operations and member experience and information technology. This year’s winners:

  • 2019 Operations & Member Experience Professional of the Year: Kristin Steede, VP Learning & Development, Verve, a Credit Union, Oshkosh, WI
  • 2019 Technology Professional of the Year: Donald Blair Elzinga, Senior Software Developer, OCCU, Eugene, OR

The Top Community Contributor Awards recognize the value and expertise shared with peers through collaboration within the CUNA Councils Community. This year’s winners include:

  • CUNA Technology Council winners: Richard Borden, VP of IT/ISO, Blackhawk Community Credit Union, Janesville, WI; Michael Parks, VP of Information Technology, Suncoast Credit Union, Tampa, FL
  • CUNA Operations & Member Experience Council winners: Amy Beaumont, VP of Consumer Loans & Member Service, Black Hills Federal Credit Union, Rapid City, SD; Rosalyn Hudson, VP of Member Service Operations, Sharonview Federal Credit Union, Fort Mill, SC

Finally, Vendor Speed Rounds provided fast-paced, high-impact opportunities for exhibiting vendors to showcase and demonstrate their products and services to conference attendees. This year’s Best of Show winner is:

Learn more about CUNA Operations & Member Experience Council Awards and CUNA Technology Council and Awards by visiting

CUNA Operations & Member Experience Award winners – From Left to Right: Shay Gilstrap, VP of Human Resources, One Detroit Credit Union; Sherry Thomas Palmer, Senior Manager Training & Development, Will Synan, Senior Manager Member Care Center, and Laura Wallace, VP Member Care, Alliant Credit Union; Tyler Dowd, Director, theHub, BCU.

CUNA Technology Council Award winners – Front from left to right: Blair Elzinga, Senior Software Developer, OCCU; Becky Reed, CEO, Lone Star Credit Union; Michael Parks, Vice President, Information Technology, Suncoast Credit Union
Back from left to right: Eric Dalkenberg, Senior Developer, OCCU; Dan McGowan, VP Marketing, Fiserv (accepting on behalf of Merck Sharp & Dohme Federal Credit Union); Ryan Brooks, Director of Digital Lending and Aaron Bortoletto, IT Specialist 3, WSECU.

Vendor Speed Rounds winner- From left to right: Thomas Barry, Account Executive and Bryan Dooley, Senior Vice President, Customer Solutions, Glia.

About CUNA

Credit Union National Association (CUNA) is the only national association that advocates on behalf of all of America’s credit unions, which are owned by 135 million consumer members. CUNA, along with its network of affiliated state credit union leagues, delivers unwavering advocacy, continuous professional growth and operational confidence to protect the best interests of all credit unions. For more information about CUNA, visit To find your nearest credit union, visit

About CUNA Councils

CUNA Councils is a member-led, collaborative community of credit union leaders providing vibrant peer interaction, new ideas and innovation to foster professional development for our members while advocating for the overall success of the credit union movement. There are seven CUNA Councils with a network of more than 7,000 credit union professionals. For more information, visit or contact Julie Lang, (608) 231-4018,


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